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Books by Maria Montessori

The Child in the Family

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori discusses some of her basic principles of education and describes how to ‘follow attentively all the spiritual expressions of a child'. She shows how supporting children on a path to independence should be a priority of the parent and educator, and how to create an environment where they can follow their natural development. The book challenges social norms about children, and the role of the adults around them. It is an education of the adult, transforming their own selves, in order to transform the lives of the children in their care.

Selected Quotes from The Child in the Family

To her falls the task of guiding the development of the child's spirit, and therefore her observations of the child are not limited solely to understanding him. All her observations must emerge at the end - and this is their only justification - in her ability to help the child.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 64
In our schools the environment itself teaches the children. The teacher only puts the child in direct contact with the environment, showing him how to use various things.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 64
Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 63
The objects surrounding the child should look solid and attractive to him, and the house of the child should be lovely and pleasant in its particulars; for beauty in the school invites activity and work.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 43
"Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life." This is the greatest responsibility for the adult who educates the child who is in the process of constructing himself.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 24
We must help the child to liberate himself from his defects without making him feel his weakness.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 67
No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 3
To give a child liberty is not to abandon him to himself.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 27
It is necessary, then, to give the child the possibility of developing according to the laws of his nature, so that he can become strong, and, having become strong, can do even more than we dared hope for him.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 39
The adult ought never to mould the child after himself, but should leave him alone and work always from the deepest comprehension of the child himself.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 18
The child is much more spiritually elevated than is usually supposed. He often suffers, not from too much work, but from work that is unworthy of him.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 74
Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 54
A felicitous environment that guides the children and offers them the means to exercise their own faculties permits the teacher to absent herself temporarily. The creation of such an environment is already the realisation of great progress.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 46
We must, therefore, quit our roles as jailers and instead take care to prepare an environment in which we do as little as possible to exhaust the child with our surveillance and instruction.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 27
The more the capacity to concentrate is developed, the more often the profound tranquility in work is achieved, then the clearer will be the manifestation of discipline within the child.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 38
The most difficult thing to make clear to the new teacher is that because the child progresses, she must restrain herself and avoid giving directions, even if at first they are expected; all her faith must repose in his latent powers.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 33
Education demands, then, only this: the utilisation of the inner powers of the child for his own instruction.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 33
The life of the spirit prepares the dynamic power for daily life, and, on its side, daily life encourages thought by means of ordinary work.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 31
Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 28
The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent or teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that happens.
Maria Montessori
The Child in the Family, p. 28